The oil found in the bodies of cold water fish, such as salmon and mackerel, is a great source of the omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. EFAs cannot be made in your body and the intake of them are essential to your survival. In fact, EFAs are required for the proper growth, repair and function of every living cell in your body. As such, the purported benefits of fish oil are vast and diverse.
Why 1,000 mg?
To receive the numerous health benefits that fish oil has to offer, you do not necessarily need to buy a supplement that contains 1,000 mg, or 1 g; but most fish oil supplements come in that amount. According to Laura Shane-McWhorter, in her book “Guide to Herbs and Nutritional Supplements,” 2 to 4 g a day of fish oil may actually be needed to produce a medicinal effect, in which case you would need to take two to four 1,000 mg supplements daily.
A List of Benefits
Balch says that fish oil may improve your hair and skin, help prevent arthritis, reduce migraine headache frequency, slow tumor growth, reduce candida-related yeast overgrowth in the body, prevent ischemic stroke and treat asthma and renal disease. The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, or CSNN, says fish oil also may help treat gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, cirrhosis, celiac disease and colitis. Finally, fish oil may help to eliminate acne, prevent herpes, reduce fibromyalgia symptoms and increase adrenal function.
Fish oil also helps to support your immune system, and it may be beneficial for the treatment of a variety of immune system-related disorders. In fact, fish oil can help support the immunity of AIDs sufferers, reduce allergic rhinitis, heal atopic dermatitis and eczema and treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Fish oil may be especially beneficial for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, and it may help to alleviate RA symptoms by suppressing the immune system reaction that causes joint inflammation. In fact, over a dozen studies have shown that RA sufferers experience fewer tender and swollen joints and less morning stiffness after several months of taking large doses of 2.5 to 5 g of fish oil daily.
Brain Health and Psychiatric Disorders
Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are needed for the normal development and functioning of the brain, and fish oil may be beneficial for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, such as depression and Parkinson’s disease. EFAs also aid in the transmission of nerve impulses and, as such, fish oil may enhance memory and learning capabilities, and it may help treat attention deficient disorder.
Finally, fish oil is well-known for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and it has been found to decrease blood viscosity, reduce total cholesterol, increase the healthy HDL cholesterol levels, lower triglycerides, reduce angina pain, lower blood pressure, improve exercise tolerance, improve blood flow and reduce platelet aggregation. More research still needs to be done to confirm many of these benefits, so you should talk to your health care practitioner before taking any supplements.
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Third Edition”; Phyllis Balch; 2003
- “Guide to Herbs and Nutritional Supplements”; Laura Shane-Mcwhorter; 2009
- “Pathology and Nutrition”; The Canadian School of Natural Nurition; Lilieana Stadler Mitrea; 2008
- “The Nutritional Bypass”; David Rowland, Ph.D.; 2006